Coral Cup 2021 Tips – Preview, Odds and Trends (2.50pm Cheltenham Day 2)

The Coral Cup, run over 2 miles 5 furlongs on the Old Course at Cheltenham, is a typically competitive Festival handicap.

The race has a safety limit of 26 and in the last decade has produced winners at 33/1, 28/1, 25/1 and 16/1 (three times); last year’s winner, Dame De Compagnie was the only successful favourite in that period.

Upper Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson has saddled four winners of the Coral Cup, including the last two, so it’s no surprise that three of his horses feature among the co-favourites for the 2021 renewal.

 

Coral Cup 2021 Odds

HorseOddsBookies
The Shunter16/1bet365
On The Blind Side16/1bet365
Great White Shark16/1William Hill
Buzz16/1bet365
Dreal Deal16/1William Hill
Beacon Edge16/1William Hill
Main Fact16/1bet365
McFabulous20/1bet365
Benson20/1bet365

 

Coral Cup Preview

  • Buzz
  • Craigneiche
  • On The Blind Side
  • Black Tears
  • The Outsiders

 

Buzz

Buzz (16/1) began his 2020/21 campaign by finishing third, beaten 3 lengths, behind subsequent Elite Hurdle winner Sceau Royale in the Potter Group Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las in October, albeit in receipt of 14lb, and won with plenty in hand on his second start at Ascot in November.

Raised 11lb for that victory, he ran another solid race when second, beaten 1¾ lengths, behind Not So Sleepy in the Grade Three Betfair Exchange Trophy, over the same course and distance, the following month.

However, he has yet to win beyond an extended 2 miles, so has his stamina to prove and, having gone up another 4lb for his latest effort, may be too high in the weights now.

 

Craigneiche

Craigneiche (16/1), too, earned himself a 12lb hike in the weights when readily winning the Grade Three Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle at Ascot on his handicap debut in late January, but remains unexposed after just three starts over hurdles. He had previously won a maiden hurdle over 2 miles 5 furlongs on soft going at Doncaster so, with stamina not an issue, he makes no little appeal.

However, the fact that he bled from the nose following his Ascot success sounds a note of caution with regard to his future well-being.

 

On The Blind Side

By contrast, the 153-rated On The Blind Side (16/1) is much more exposed, but nonetheless boasts an impressive 5-9 (56%) strike rate over hurdles. That said,  he has won just one handicap hurdle, over 3 miles on the Old Course at Cheltenham, in November 2020, off a mark of 145. Like stable companion Buzz, he looks too high in the weights in a race as competitive as the Coral Cup.

 

Black Tears

Last year’s second, Black Tears (25/1), has been well beaten in Listed and Graded contests at Punchestown and Leopardstown so far in 2020/21, but is only 4lb higher in the weights if connections decide to return her to handicap company at the Festival. At the same price, Flash The Steel (25/1) wasn’t beaten all that far in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle last year and is another who looks reasonably treated in his return to Prestbury Park.

 

Lively Outsiders

Of course, there are all sorts of other possibilities, but lively outsiders include last year’s Triumph Hurdle fourth, Navajo Pass (33/1), last year’s Pertemps Network Final fourth, Third Wind (33/1), and Festival debutante Imperial Alcazar (40/1), a lightly-raced, progressive 7-year-old who’s worth keeping on the right side, despite his fancy odds.

 

Coral Cup Betting Tips

Frankly, at this early stage, it must be fairly long odds-against naming a runner in the Coral Cup, never mind naming the winner. However, we’re not ones to shy away from a challenge, so we’ll nail our colours to the mast with Craigneiche, who falls into the ‘could be anything’ category.

EACH-WAY BET: Craigneiche (16/1 with Paddy Power) – Paddy Power are NRNB for Cheltenham 2021.

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Coral Cup Trends

Age – 9 of the last 12 winners were aged 5-7.

Price – 1 of the last 12 winners have been favourites, 2/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting, 10/12 were priced 12/1 or bigger.

Weight – 9/12 winners weighed between 10st 6lbs & 11st 6lbs.

Last Run – 5/12 winners won on their last run before the Coral Cup, 10/12 winners had their last run within 80 days.

Previous Course Form – 9/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 4/12 winners had a previous win at Cheltenham.

Previous Distance Form – 10/12 winners had at least 1 run over 19-21 furlongs, 7/12 winners had a previous win over 19-21 furlongs.

Previous Hurdle Form – 10/12 winners had at least 6 runs over hurdles, 12/12 winners had at least 2 previous wins over hurdles, 9/12 winners had at least 2 wins over hurdles.

Rating – 10/12 winners had at a rating of 140 or higher.

Season Form – 9/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season, 9/12 winners had at least 1 win that season.

 

Coral Cup Recent Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Ninetieth Minute P W Flood T J Taaffe
2010 Spirit River Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2011 Carlito Brigante Davy Russell Gordon Elliott
2012 Son Of Flicka Jason Maguire Donald McCain
2013 Medinas Wayne Hutchinson Alan King
2014 Whisper Nico De Boinville Nicky Henderson
2015 Aux Ptits Soins Sam Twiston-Davies Paul Nicholls
2016 Diamond King Davy Russell Gordon Elliott
2017 Supasundae Robbie Power Mrs John Harrington
2018 Bleu Berry Mark Walsh Willie Mullins
2019 William Henry Nico De Boinville Nicky Henderson
2020 Dame De Compagnie Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson

 

Coral Cup Result 2020

1st – Dame De Compagnie (5/1)

2nd – Black Tears (12/1)

3rd – Thosedaysaregone (10/1)

4th – Cracking Smart (33/1)

 

Coral Cup FAQs

  • When is the Coral Cup?

    The Coral Cup is due off at 2.50pm on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday 17th March 2021. 

  • Who is favourite to win the Coral Cup?

    This is a wide-open handicap race but the current favourites are The Shunter and On The Blind Side at 16/1 with bet365. Keep an eye on the odds and declarations as we get closer to the start of the Cheltenham Festival.